Friday, March 11, 2011

In which St. Joseph's Indian School sends me the most manipulative, guilt-inducing solicitation ever

You had to see it to believe it.

Clockwise from upper left:
  1. "Dreams of Hope" mailing envelope (big and thick). FOUR FREE GIFTS ENCLOSED!
  2. Two pages of expensive, shiny metallic stickers, one with my address on its many labels;
  3. Dreams of Hope for the Children donation request form, specifying: Please detach and return one or more of the Gift Certificates with your donation:
    • Gift Certificate! To: A Lakota Child $8 to help provide you meals.
    • Gift Certificate! To: A Lakota Child $12 to help provide you bedding and linens.
    • Gift Certificate! To: A Lakota Child $15 to help provide you clothing.
  4. Certificate of Appreciation made out to me personally, "in recognition of your generosity to St. Joseph's Indian School and the Lakota children whose lives will be happier and futures will be brighter."
  5. Two, count them, TWO notepads;
  6. Most horrifyingly: an actual dreamcatcher, feathers and all!

The page I'm supposed to return has a checkmark for "I can't help the children now, but I'm enclosing $5 to cover the expense of sending my dreamcatcher gift." I wish they had spent that $5 on a meal, instead.

My son looked up this charity: not surprisingly, it flunks the general standards for percentage of funds actually paid out to the supposed recipients, and its CEO makes a very hefty salary. And I'm not really into missionary schools. So I'm not going to be sending them money. But I feel very guilty. Are you satisfied, director Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, SCJ?



At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife got the same thing a few days ago. TWO notepads? TWO sheets of address stickers? And a certificate of appreciation before any donation is actually made? That's ridiculous.

We gave the dreamcatcher to our cockatiel to chew on.

I agree, this school spends too much money on promotion. The school would be more credible if it sent out fewer items.

At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a tacky, guilt tripping mailing. I worked at this school for a few months back in 1977, and didn't like it very much. Back then, they were still in "assimilation mode" and heavily suppressed the Lakota culture and religion. Now they totally into it, apparently, because that's what people like to hear and that's where the $$$ in contributions come from. But believe me - there are no Indian kids sitting around all day making dream catchers, greeting cards, rosaries or what not. Nor will they ever see one of those so called "gift certificates". Its all nonsense, and whatever this place gets in contributions is probably just pooled into a general fund. Gotta watch those Jesuit priests too.

At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And may I add: That Fr. Huffstetter, who is a Catholic priest, is making nearly $70,000 per year for running this school. That kind of money is far above the norm for most everyone in South Dakota, which is basically a minimum wage state.

At 12:44 PM, Blogger kjetil said...

This is the most dishonest mailing I have ever received.
NONE of these kids look "starving" to me;why not send money, if you feel the need to send any, to REAL starving children in, yes, you guessed it, west Virginia or rural Kentucky.
These men who run this place call themselves Priests?

Kjetil Assen

At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the people that run this place are Priests. And good people at that. What most people don't realize about this, due to lack of research or ignorance, is that we provide 100% of ALL needs for these kids. So yes, it's important to have donations. We provide education, housing, clothing, meals, trips, and support to the families. So let me ask you this. What have you done for someone with this much need lately? Have you housed them? Fed them? No? Well by sending a donation to this school, that's exactly what you are doing. And yes, it might not hit all the standards for a "charity", but how many charities out there actually do the services themselves? Not many!! Most charities take the money and reallocate it based on need. All the money here goes to staffing, and necessities for these kids.

Of course, you might just be another white person who doesn't see anything wrong with what has been done to these people and can't be bothered to help them out. Why bother right?

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do not send this school an American dime!!! After sending St. Joseph School a monthly donation every month last year, sometimes more than one a month, I received a letter thanking me for a paltry ten dollar donation for the entire year!. Naturally, I was livid with anger!!! What in Heaven's name did those "criminals" do with the rest of my monthly contributions? I complained via voice mail since I received the tax statement after business hours. The bookkeeper returned my call. However, I chose to leave them alone after discovering what shoddy recordkeeping they do. LEARN A LESSON FROM MY EXPERIENCE WITH THEM.

At 8:52 PM, Anonymous drewman said...

These are the same school that started out forcing the American Indians to give up their culture, cut hair, torture them to follow their merciful god and allowed their priest to rape the beautiful, innocent children. Now they are raping them again by trying to guilt us into giving them money that will never reach the people that deserve it and our entitled to it.

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CNN just did an expose on this school. Although the kids are cared for, about 1/2 the money donated go to the fundraisers. I no longer give anything to them. I had asked several times that they not send me any "free gifts" and this month alone I got 2 more dreamcatchers plus a Christmas themed dreamcatcher.

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Giovanni Rosetti said...

I don't know much about this school,but I did point out something to my mom who says.' the poor little kids who made these"...hmmm um Made in china on packaging and on dream catchers..anyone else notice that


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